11.08.10

The GOP Plot to Help Bristol Palin

Week after week, Bristol Palin shimmies her way to winning vote totals on Dancing with the Stars despite underwhelming performances. Is a right-wing conspiracy afoot, designed to keep Sarah’s daughter on prime time? Shushannah Walshe investigates.

Week after week, Bristol Palin shimmies her way to winning vote totals on Dancing With the Stars despite underwhelming performances. Is a right-wing conspiracy afoot, designed to keep Sarah’s daughter on prime time? 

Is “Operation Bristol” a vast right-wing conspiracy? 

Given Bristol Palin’s survival on Dancing With the Stars—and Monday’s tweet by conservative activist, author, and Palin supporter Tammy Bruce, notifying Palin loyalists to vote for Bristol on the show—left-leaning TV viewers might think so.

Week after week, Bristol has bested celebrities who have gotten higher marks than her, including Rick Fox and Audrina Patridge, landing her—and her supportive partner, Mark Ballas—among the top five contestants.

Last Monday, during the height of election fever, Bruce tweeted, “Operation Bristol waltzes in tonight! As #DWTS starts vote at abc.go.com Tweeps pls tweet phone info, will RT.” Bruce then re-tweeted other tweets with the voting website link, the phone number to cast your vote, and how to text in a vote for Bristol.

There’s no way of knowing to what extent the campaign to mobilize conservative forces is boosting Palin’s performance—whether contestants advance to the next round depends on votes cast by both judges and viewers but surely it doesn’t hurt "Team Ballin," as Palin and Ballas are known. Bruce has more than 14,000 followers and “Operation Bristol” has been picked up and posted by Palin fan sites like Conservatives4Palin and us4Palin, giving those who’d like to cast a vote for a Palin, a different outlet. (Bruce did not return an email request for comment on Monday.)

Bristol’s mother, meanwhile, is headed for the small screen as well, when Sarah Palin’s Alaska premieres on TLC this Sunday.

Video screenshot